Healthy, Fit, Well

For years, at my annual physical, I’ve heard variations on the same theme: you just need to lose some weight. I would think to myself, ‘yes, yes I do; and I will — this time I will do it’. And for a few days, maybe a week or two, I’d drink protein shakes in the morning and nothing for lunch and I’d watch the weight melt off quickly. And then the pizza craving or a really bad day at work or ___________________________ (fill in the blank) would happen and ‘losing weight’ would go out the window.

But over the course of the last year, while recovering from spinal fusion surgery, I’ve been meditating on the simple phrase: be well. (Often, in my head, I see it as “b.well” – I don’t know why.) My intention is to be as well as I can be.

In my effort to ‘be well’ I’ve learned to cook healthier meals, cut out carbs, eat breakfast (which I still don’t like), stop drinking so much wine, and go to the gym at least 5 times a week. Thankfully, I belong to a gym where most people look like me. Rather than seeing triathletes or body builders next to me, I see real people doing the same thing I am, trying to be healthy, fit, and well. Another thing I do is weigh every morning and write it down on a clipboard in the laundry room. My weight bounces around like a yo-yo from day to day, but so far the overall trend has been down.

And just as everything is progressing nicely, swimming and exercising, losing weight, feeling good – a car crashes into me and disrupts the rhythms of wellness I had worked so hard to put in place. So there are now new rhythms: PT three times a week, daily sessions with a NMES unit stimulating my back, muscle relaxers to try and ease the cramping, worrying about the way my left leg moves, and wondering what my new rehab doctor will advise when I see her next week. While there are a lot of reasons to abandon my progress toward wellness, I’ve decided I’m not going to give up on my desire to “b.well”.

I cannot change what happens to me, but I can shape my response to it all. And I’ve decided that my response is going to ‘be well’.

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